Five ways to better communicate with your parents during overseas study

REMEMBER the moment your parents bombard you with question after question about your new life away from home? To avoid these questions and create better conversations with parents, Trinity College Foundation Studies students Lingxiao Shu, Yang Xiao and Zhao Xiaoyi share five useful tips for talking to your parents during overseas study.


Being an international student means carving a life of your own in a new country — a life of independence. But for your parents, it can be period of worry and concern. For many parents, it will be the first time they’ll be letting go of their children and they will want to know how their kids are doing on a daily basis.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to reassure parents that you’re doing okay, especially when you’re not too certain about your next move in life. To make sure your parents’ fears are put to rest, we’ve compiled a list of useful tips students can use to reassure parents that you’re still alive and well. 

Make frequent communication

Technology has made it super easy to maintain a “long-distance relationship” with your parents, with apps like Skype, Viber, WeChat, WhatsApp, Facetime, Line and so much more.

So there’s no excuse for you not to talk to your parents more frequently, send them pictures of your surroundings, or moments in your life abroad. One Chinese student we spoke to even said that her mum wanted to watch her eat!

Seek for new topics

Mundane conversations about school or daily life gets boring pretty fast – Try to talk about something new each time!

A newly released movie, your first rock climbing experience, that first burnt meal, your cute lecturer… Small things like these go a long way to keep those conversations engaging.

One of Trinity College Foundation Studies’ teachers is also a worying mother with her son studying in Japan. She mentioned that she would “take notes before Skyping” with her son, so that she could be more mindful of the interesting things that happened on that day.

Tell the truth

Nothing sets parents off more than telling them a lie! Even if you’ve skipped a class or blew their credit card on games, it’s better to be honest about it straight away than suffer the consequences later.

Parents have a habit of finding about what happened – one way or another – so best to own up before then!

Don’t exaggerate

Some things are better left unsaid. If your parents cannot help you, there is no point telling them, let alone, worrying them. Don’t call them saying that your fever is killing you – chances are their worries will kill them first.

Learn to care for your parents

Understand and reciprocate their care and worries. Not only does your concern warm your their hearts, sensitive gestures like this also display your maturity.

One Singaporean student told us about her mum’s bittersweet relief when she reminded her mother of her annual health checkup. It will be nice to check your calendar and make sure you have important dates you share with your parents circled too.

This story was produced by Media and Communication students at Trinity College Foundation Studies as part of Meld’s community newsroom collaboration. Education institutions, student clubs/societies and community groups interested in being involved can get in touch with us via

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Meld Magazine was incorporated as an independent not-for-profit media outlet in September 2008 to reach out to international students in Melbourne, and provide students the opportunity to gain real work experience.

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